B.Traits plays Spiritbar this Saturday with Lady AK.

LVR grad making a name for herself in the UK

B.Traits may well be the most successful artist to come out of the local electronic music scene.

Growing up in Nelson, Brianna Price was the kid with turntables in her bedroom who obsessively practised beat matching. She knew at age 16 she wanted to be a DJ, and now 10 years later she’s living in England with her own BBC radio show and a debut single that made it to number eight on the UK dance music charts.

Better known by the name B.Traits, she may well be the most successful artist to come out of the local electronic music scene. She was spinning in Vancouver nightclubs before she was old enough to legally enter them and played her first stadium with the World of Drum & Bass tour before her 20th birthday.

She was signed to the UK label Digital Soundboy in 2007 (becoming their first “Sound Girl”) and moved overseas to work with her label-mates and start producing her own music. Then came the surprise success of her first single. And that offer to host her own show on the BBC.

When {vurb} caught up with B. earlier this week, she was in Nelson visiting with family and in the middle of a mini tour of Western Canada (including a show at Spiritbar this Saturday, her first time playing there since Halloween 2010).

“I’m so excited to play in my hometown — it’s been way too long,” she says.

B. hightailed it out of Nelson the day she graduated from L.V. Rogers secondary school. She moved to Vancouver and immersed herself in the music scene there, going out to shows four or five nights per week (“I had really good fake ID,” she laughs). Her first club gig was at the Tuesday night drum and bass night at the Lotus in Vancouver when she was 18.

A year later, she was promoting her own UK dance music night in Whistler, where she regularly played an opening set for touring international DJs. It was there she met DJ SS, from England, who asked her to open for him for a few nights in Europe.

“I had to quickly get a passport because I’d never travelled before,” B. recalls.

After that, SS invited her on the World of Drum & Bass tour with him and a ton of other DJs, including Shy FX who owns the label she would later sign to.

“Because we were on the tour bus together, Shy and I had lots of time to talk,” B. says. “I told him my vision and how I wanted to become an artist more than just a DJ — and a few weeks later, after the tour was done, he called me up and offered me a spot on his label Digital Soundboy.”

She says in her first year living in the UK, she spent every day watching her label-mates in the studio and every night working on her own stuff. She figures she must have made 1,000 tracks, and out of that came the “Fever” single.

“For me, it was my first single. I really didn’t think it was anything fancy,” she says.

She was shocked when it started getting radio play and climbing the charts. It was a Top 40 single in the UK last April.

About the same time she was contacted by the BBC about a pilot she’d sent them. They invited her to join the monthly rotation of DJs who guest host “In New DJs We Trust.” After two times hosting that show, the BBC called with the opportunity to host her own weekly show.

“When the BBC asks you to do a show like that, you don’t say no — it’s such a wicked opportunity — I said yes right away.”

She has held down the Monday morning, 2 to 4 a.m., time slot since September, where she plays all brand new music. Initially she had to spend hours scouring the Internet for material, but now she has a loyal following of listeners who email her their new material.

“I’ve discovered tons of new people on the show that have gone on to sign with labels — it’s such a nice feeling to help new artists out,” she says.

Her set at Spirtbar this Saturday night (April 27) will be a lot like her radio show — she’ll be spinning loads of new, underground music, as well as some stuff on the Digital Soundboy label, including of course some of the tracks she’s been working on for them.

Opening for B.Traits is fellow Nelsononite Lady AK. Doors open at 10 p.m. Tickets are $10, available in advance at the Hume Hotel.

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